Billionaire financier George Soros hosted a fundraiser for Senate Democrats last week at his Manhattan home, making his first foray into politics after spending $25 million of his money in an effort to defeat President Bush last year.
Soros gathered about 60 of his friends and acquaintances in his Upper East Side home Thursday to hear a presentation from Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to a knowledgeable source. The event raised an estimated $250,000 for Senate Democratic candidates.
“I think it is shocking that Democrats would treat him as a mainstream force of Democratic politics,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). “He has an agenda that transcends American interests.”
Soros is known for making provocative statements and is often associated with hot-button issues that most politicians would rather avoid, such as drug decriminalization, assisted suicide and voting rights for felons. Soros, for instance, has helped fund numerous initiatives that would soften criminal penalties for drug use.
“I believe that a drug-free America is a utopian dream. Some form of drug addiction or substance abuse is endemic in most societies,” Soros wrote in a 1997 Washington Post op-ed. “Insisting on the total eradication of drug use can only lead to failure and disappointment.”